Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tech "Support"

This one is for all of you who have ever called tech support. Or customer service numbers for that matter.
I had quite the fantastic experience this week which I will painstakingly detail for you now in a minute-by-minute recap. Prepare to be amazed . . .
1:45: I realized that my power cord for my laptop (which I'm disturbingly addicted to by the way--one day they'll have to surgically remove this thing from my hands), had stopped working for reasons unknown. My laptop is under warranty (and it's pretty new) so I went up to the tech support office in the law building who promised that if there was any problem with our computers they would immediately take care of us if we bought the kind of computer they told us to buy at the beginning of the school year. I fell for it of course and bought the computer they told me I "just had to have!" When I approached the law school tech support to ask them about my problem, none of them made eye contact with me and one of them eventually told me that there was nothing they could do so I would just have to call Dell.
1:52: I got the phone number from another student who overheard me complaining and apparently had the same problem recently.
1:55: I sat down to call Dell and got someone named Austin on the phone. I generally really try to see the good in people and always try to remain polite on the phone no matter who I'm talking to. So now all my credibility will go out the window when I tell you that I discovered that Austin may be the dumbest living organism to EVER be employed by ANY company that has EVER been in existence since the beginning of time and maybe even beyond.
Austin: Hello sir and thank you for calling Dell. Can I get your phone number?
Eli: Sure. It's 801-123-4567
Austin: OK so that's 578-1121?
Eli: . . . no . . . 801-123-4567 . . .
Austin: OK thank you and can I get your address?
Eli: Could you repeat my phone number again for me so I know you got it?
Austin: . . . um. . . 71-34
Eli: OK, you are asking for my phone number right?
Austin: Yes sir. Now may I have your address.
Eli: First I would like for you to get my phone number correctly. 801-123-4567
Austin: OK thank you and your address?
Eli: What's my phone number Austin?
Austin: OK thank you and your address please?
Austin: And what's your problem today sir?
Eli: Well my power cord has stopped working and I need you to send me a new one.
Austin: OK sir so your computer is broken?
Eli: No my computer is fine. My power cord has stopped working.
Austin: OK sir. Can you please explain to me how you know the power cord is not working?
Eli: . . . I plug it in . . . and it doesn't work.
Austin: OK sir. So do I understand correctly that your computer is broken?
Eli: No . . . my power cord is not working.
Austin: Sir, how do you know it's your power cord.
Eli: Because the power cord doesn't work when I plug it in. I tested my computer with other power cords and it works fine with others.
Austin: OK sir. Do you think the problem may be with the power cord?
Eli: Yes
Austin: OK sir. Do you think the problem may be with the power cord?
Eli: Still yes.
Austin: OK sir. So your computer is broken?
Eli: . . . no . . . my computer is fine. I have a problem with my power cord.
Austin: OK sir. How do you know the problem is with the power cord?
Eli: . . . seriously?
Austin: OK sir. I will put you on hold for 5 minutes but probably 2 or 3 and I will find help for you but I will put you on hold for 3 minutes but I'm going to put you on hold now.
Eli: OK
Austin: but I'm going to put you on hold now.
Eli: OK
Austin: to help you. Probably 4 minutes OK?
Eli: OK
Austin: OK I'm going to put you on hold now.
Eli: I know!
Austin: OK just for 2 minutes. OK?
Eli: . . .
2:10-2:20: On Hold
Repeat the conversation from 2:00-2:10 EXACTLY but this time add a lot more irritation in my voice.
I give the address for the law school and ask them to send the power cord there. Then Austin explains 5 times that I need to send back the faulty cord when I get the new one. Austin asks another 6 times (I'm really not kidding on this one) if the problem is with the cord and how I know the problem is with the cord.
Austin: OK you should see that cord in a week or two.
Eli: Can't you send it faster?
Austin: OK you should see that cord in a week or two.
Eli: . . . What do you suggest I do until then?
Austin: Use your battery.
Eli: OK I have two hours left on my battery. That's not really going to last me for a couple of weeks.
Austin: Well you shouldn't have broken your computer. (For this I officially award Austin the tech guy the "tellin' like it is award.")
Eli: . . . Well you shouldn't have sent me a faulty product! Perhaps I should go advertise that Dell makes crappy merchandise.
Austin: OK you should see that cord in one day.
Eli: Thanks.
Austin calls my cell FOUR times while I sit in on the last 13 minutes of class that are left. Each time he leaves a message. Each message says the exact same thing almost word for word: Another reminder to send back the faulty cord when I get the new one and then another question about whether I'm sure it's the cord and how I know something is wrong (as if I was on the phone with him to answer the question).
Austin calls AGAIN and I answer this time.
Austin: I was just calling to ask you if you're sure the problem is with the cord and ask you how you know it isn't working.
Eli: ARE YOU SERIOUS!!!!!????
Austin: I'm sorry sir. Did I catch you at a bad time?
Eli: Listen Austin, I know we really hit it off on the phone before but I'm really not interested in maintaining this relationship if we have to talk on the phone this much.
Austin: . . . Sir I'm calling to remind you to send back the faulty cord when-
Eli: I KNOW!!!!!!! AAAAAHHHHH!!!!
Austin: Also sir, I looked at the address you gave and it can't possibly be correct because there is no street name here.
(I explain that the address is correct and not to worry about it).
Austin's supervisor calls me.
Allen: Hi Eli; I'm just calling to tell you that your order was cancelled because you gave us a fake address.
Eli: You have GOT to be kidding me!!!
Allen: Perhaps you could give us a real address and we'll consider resetting your order.
Eli: Allen, could you do something for me? Pull out the hierarchy list at your company, find your name, count about 13 people up from there and transfer me to that person. I know it's a long shot but I'm bound to find someone there that has the ability to help me without giving me an ulcer.
Allen: I understand you are getting frustrated. Perhaps you could just give me the correct address.
Eli: Allen, I gave you the correct address. That is all. Send the &$#% package.
Allen: OK but if there waaaas another address, what would it be?
Eli: Hmmm. . . lets see (I give him the same address).
Allen: I don't think the FedEx guy will find this address.
Eli: We're done here.
I received the package first thing in the morning. And yes, I remembered to send back the faulty product.
~It Just Gets Stranger

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Standing Against Stones & Arrows

I thought I would share some thoughts I've had recently. My church has recently been under a lot of attack for the support which many members of my church provided in passing proposition 8 in California last week. I am LDS (a Mormon) and over the past few months, many members of my church did a lot of work in California to garner support for the proposition amid a lot of opposition. Interestingly, the attacks toward the church have generally involved accusations of hate. While I can understand that it is common and justified to feel very strongly when someone disagrees with you, I am sad that support for a value has to be construed as hate. I have tried to see both sides of the issue, and I believe that the arguments on both sides are good, and often grounded in love. And I wish that that was the focus. The truth is, I don't hate anyone who disagrees with me on any issue. I simply disagree. So I'll vote one way and stand up for what I believe in, fully expecting the opposing side to stand up for what they believe in. I don't assume they hate me because they disagree (although they may) and I hope that my vote doesn't have to be seen as hate either. Nonetheless, I can't control that; I can only let my voice be heard and pray that any issue can be discussed civilly and respectfully.

Attacks on the church are nothing new. For thousands of years people who have tried to live virtuous lives, to improve themselves and serve others, have been mistreated and despised. Often this poor treatment is against those who truly do live lives of hate under the guise of spirituality, corrupting pure principles and causing pain and sorrow to others. For this it can often be easy for the world to attack religion as a whole and paint it with a very dark face, blaming it for the world's sorrow. Unfortunately, those who really do try through their faith in God to make the world a better place are often on the receiving end of violent persecution as well. My church specifically saw a lot of this in the 19th century as its generally peaceful members were beaten, pushed, and in many cases murdered simply for believing in God in a different way than the world was used to. They weren't hurting anyone. They were just trying to find a way to come closer to God; to serve others; to make lives happier--and not just theirs; generally, they were just trying to find a way to make the world a better place for any who would allow them to. Since then, the church has grown despite its demanding nature. Millions upon millions of people are kinder to their neighbor because of the church. Their lives are less complicated because of the true and tested principles the church teaches. People who felt they had no chance to be happy in this life before finding the church are happier than they ever could have been.

As I was thinking about the protests and genuine meanness that is being thrown in the face of the church now, I thought about one story in The Book of Mormon. There was a man 2,000 years ago that decided he wanted to help anyone who would let him. His name was Samuel and he went to a very corrupt city and stood upon a wall and began talking to the people about what it means to be truly happy. He talked about being kind and having faith in God. He talked about things we could all benefit from today. Some of the people listened to him and dramatically changed their lives for the better. Many hated him for what he said. They hated him because he disagreed with them. I imagine they assumed that because he believed differently than they did that he must have hated them; this could not have been further from the truth however, as his message was to love all men, no matter what they do.

The most interesting thing about Samuel's story for me is that even as the people began to throw stones and shoot arrows at him, he stayed on that wall and stood for what he believed in. And because he stood firm "the spirit of the Lord was with him, insomuch that they could not hit him with their stones neither with their arrows." And when the people saw that he couldn't be hurt, many more listened to his words.

We too, when faced with seemingly insurmountable opposition when the adversary slings its figurative stones and arrows at us for standing for something that may not be popular, will be blessed with the spirit of the Lord even so that we cannot be hit. And in a world that seems to be lacking in people that will stand firm for their principles, there's no telling what kind of work that example will do.

I'm proud to be a Mormon. I'm proud to be a member of a church that has stood firm for its principles. I'm proud to be a member of a church that focuses on and really teaches what it means to be Christlike in our dealings with our neighbors and family. And against all the opposition in the world, I hope to always stand firm for those principles, even if I'm the last person on Earth who will.

I love you all and I hope things are just getting stranger for you~

Saturday, November 8, 2008

IM Convo #2

~The following was my IM convo with Krishelle while we were at work today, explaining my strange dream last night that is probably the result of too much school this week. . .

McCann, Eli W. says:
I had a long dream last night that you got fired for removing holds

McCann, Krishelle says:
I wish

McCann, Krishelle says:
sort of

McCann, Krishelle says:
that's really funny

McCann, Eli W. says:
So we had to go to court and I had to prepare the case and Krisanda and all the kids came to be witnesses.

McCann, Krishelle says:
oh no

McCann, Eli W. says:
and my old roommates too

McCann, Krishelle says:
did we win?

McCann, Eli W. says:
well the judge had a long black mullet and the jury seemed shady

McCann, Krishelle says:
and why would we have to go to court?

McCann, Eli W. says:
because we were suing the bank for firing you for shady reasons

McCann, Krishelle says:
oh I see...

McCann, Eli W. says:
because under the standard of a reasonable person, the checks should have been made available

McCann, Krishelle says:
that was our argument?

McCann, Eli W. says:
It was so weird. but I woke up and thought that was real

McCann, Krishelle says:
I love it

McCann, Eli W. says:
Yeah I got up in my opening argument and said "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I present for you today the sad sad tale of a girl who was just trying to do her job. A girl who was oppressed by the system. A system of hate and discrimination. One which not only doesn't value the actions of a reasonable person, but smears that person with pernicious lies and deception!"

McCann, Krishelle says:
that opening argument is hilarious

McCann, Eli W. says:
Can I go home?

McCann, Krishelle says:
oh me too?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I KNOW I'm Losing It

It's 11:00 PM and I just got home from school and I thought I would share with you something that I just did that should give you an idea of what is happening to my head lately: I started getting undressed at school. Let me explain . . .

I got up this morning before 6:00 and I've been at school working non-stop all day. I had some mock interviews I had to participate in tonight so I was in my shnazzy three-piece-suit. After the interviews my study group and I gathered for the 3,000th time today to spend a few more hours going over some material for tomorrow.

At about 10:40, after a few very intense hours, we decided to call it quits for a few hours so everyone could go home and sleep. As we got up and started packing all of our books and laptops, I started getting undressed as if I was at home getting ready for bed. I can't explain what was happening and I know it sounds crazy but I was simply not thinking about it. So I took off my jacket, vest, and tie and I kicked off my shoes. I unbuttoned my shirt and got most of the way down when someone asked a general question about our schedule tomorrow and I sort of snapped back into it and realized that I wasn't home yet. I thought about just covering it up because it seemed like nobody had noticed what had happened until someone looked over, gave me a weird look, and cautiously asked what I was doing. The really sad thing is that when I told everyone that I thought I was home so I started getting undressed, nobody acted like that was such a weird thing (all of our brains are gone). After a few moments I think we all sort of realized how crazy it was and we had a good laugh after that.

But really, what is wrong with me? I'm going crazy. That's what's wrong.

~It Just Gets Stranger

Monday, November 3, 2008

Pretty Odd

Diana tagged me (I always enjoy these things) so here I go . . .

1. Link to the person who tagged you and post the rules.
2. Share seven random or weird facts about myself.
3. Tag 7 random people at the end of my post with their links.
4. Let each person know they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

1. I never had an imaginary friend as I child; I had an imaginary enemy. His name was Monty and he looked exactly like me. Every day he and I would have adventures that started in the morning when I woke up and usually climaxed and ended sometime around 5:00PM. I always came out victorious.

2. It usually takes me a couple of hours to fall asleep. Even when I do fall asleep, the slightest sounds can wake me back up. I spend a lot of nights awake in bed reliving conversations.

3. I have a really hard time taming my motions in arguments, especially if they are about politics or church. I find myself getting really worked up and then I can't seem to get the argument out of my mind for a few days. Because of this, I tend to not let myself get into arguments very often in the first place unless I feel really compelled. This has lead a lot of people at school to believe that I'm a very tame person.

4. I have a long scar from my wrist to my elbow from a time when I was 6 and I jumped off a swing set at Mandy Williams' house and got caught by a screw. Sometimes I think it's gone away but then several months later it will re-emerge.

5. When I play the guitar, I like to pretend that I wrote whatever song I'm playing and this is the first time it's ever been performed. I do the same when I play the piano. This is to make up for my lack of ability to write my own music.

6. Every Thanksgiving morning my friends and I get up early and go for a run on a trail about 20 minutes from my parents' house. Besides the 2 years I was in Ukraine, I've done this every Thanksgiving since I was 14. We used to have a large group but this year it will probably be just 2 or 3 of us.

7. My whole life I've had a recurring nightmare about a plane crash--but I've never been in the plane. I'm always in the building that the plane crashes into. As a small child this dream TERRIFIED me. I remember many times having mini-anxiety attacks when I would hear a plane up above that sounded louder than usual. Because of this I had an extreme fear of airports and of flying for many years. That fear has been decreased substantially but I still get pretty anxious whenever I fly anywhere. Uncle Will and Krishelle probably still have welts on their arms from my fingernails during a very turbulent flight over Colorado last December when we were coming back from Costa Rica.

I can't remember who has done this recently so I'll cheat and tag everyone who hasn't had the chance yet:)

~It Just Gets Stranger